Design Structure Matrices for Software Development
M. Stevens.
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Faculty of Science, Department of Computer Science, Licentiate thesis, (August 2007)

In this dissertation we present our research into applications of Design Structure Matrices (DSMs) and related techniques in the context of software development. We pursue two research angles. On the one hand, we investigate whether the combination of DSMs and the Net Option Value (NOV) model can be used as a quantitative methodology to assess modularity in software design. In order to evaluate this methodology we introduce a tool to facilitate its use and we apply it to conduct a comparative assessment on aspect-oriented and object-oriented design pattern implementations. Based on these experiments we formulate critiques with regard to the applicability of the NOV model as a modularity metric for software. On the other hand, we investigate whether DSM diagrams can serve as a basis for a novel kind of support tool for software developers. We formulate requirements and a concrete approach for a DSM-based source-code browser for object-oriented software development. In order to validate this approach we present a prototype implementation of such a tool and we demonstrate how it can be used in real-world situations.
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